Sat, Nov 22, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Taitung named in list of ‘smart communities’

Staff writer, with CNA

Taitung County has been named as one of 21 “smart communities” around the world, qualifying it to compete for think tank Intelligent Community Forum’s top seven intelligent communities next year.

Taitung was one of more than 300 nominations submitted by communities large and small from around the word, according to the Taitung County Government.

Taitung County Commissioner Justin Huang (黃健庭) said the honor is a result of the county’s efforts to promote itself to the world as a place focused on innovation, industry and education.

The county is planning a series of projects with an eye to developing intelligent governance, tourism and marketing, agriculture, transportation and education, Huang said.

Meanwhile, staff at Taitung’s 16 township offices, the household registration office, public health bureau and tax bureau have initiated a project in which representatives will visit people’s homes to provide services for them, the statement said, adding that so far, it has completed 2,928 visits.

The project offers a wide range of services, including applications for subsidies for impoverished families, living subsidies for elderly people, long-term care evaluation and property tax data certification, the county government said.

The project is to provide more convenient services for residents, Huang said.

In its efforts to build a digital network, Taitung also launched a free public Wi-Fi service in August, with more than 50,000 members having registered for the service.

Other finalists with the potential to become one of the seven Intelligent Communities of the Year selected by the Intelligent Community Forum include Changhua County, New Taipei City and Taoyuan County, as well as Astana in Kazakhstan, Nairobi County in Kenya, Aurora, Illinois in the US, Whanganui in New Zealand, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Whittlesea in Australia, according to information on the forum’s official Web site.

The top seven will be announced on Jan. 22 in Taichung — which was last year’s Intelligent Community of the Year — and one of them will be named the Intelligent Community of the Year during the forum’s annual summit in June next year, it said.

The Intelligent Community Forum studies the economic and social development of the 21st Century community and seeks to share the best practices of the world’s intelligent communities in an effort to help communities around the world find sustainable renewal and growth.

In addition to being recognized internationally, Taitung has also won local awards for smart government and smart medical facilities.

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